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Bring summer inside with fresh decor ideas

Throughout her marriage to former NHL centre Radek Bonk, Jill Bonk moved house…again and again and again.  

From Ottawa to the U.S. and the Czech Republic and back to Canada, she says she can count at least 12 moves. Each time, she honed her keen eye for interior décor and how to turn a house into a home. Once settled back in Ottawa, she turned her expertise into Jill Bonk Home Styling and Staging. 

Now co-owner of Stittsville’s Showroom Furniture and Lighting with business partner and interior designer, Jen Miller, Jill shared her quick tips for creating a fresh new look without breaking the budget. 

What are affordable ways you can update your home?

You can do a few simple things to update your space without spending much money, such as upgrading your lamps or decor. Add accessories such as flowers, candles, or art for a significant impact. Or replace the cabinetry hardware in your kitchen or bathroom. Area rugs are also incredible to bring colour into your home. 

Accent pillows are an easy fix that you can change out seasonally and are not too expensive. I recommend changing the pillows on your sofas, beds, and chairs. (Hot tip: CAA Members save 5 percent every time they shop at Bouclair and for jobs too big to DIY, CAA Members save up to $100 with Fixvi).  

How can I update my home decor for a new season?

I always like changing my pillows with different colours and materials each season—for example, dark velvet in the winter and light-coloured linen in the summer. In the summer, consider cutting flowers from your garden. You can have a vase of fresh blooms to bring life and colour into your home. 

How do I get my room to look cohesive?

When decorating your home, start with a colour palette. Not sure where to start? If there is one item you want to include in the room, it could be the starting point. For example, you find a pillow you love, where you start your colour palette. You can go from there and buy things that do not necessarily match but coordinate. (Hot tip: CAA Members save 25% at Dulux Paints!) 

How do I pick the perfect throw pillow?

You don’t want your pillows to match. Instead, go for a variety that looks together. If you have a solid pillow, pair it with a print, stripe or floral pattern. You’ll want to mix things up. Stripes look great with a floral pattern, or chevron works with anything. It also looks great when you mix different textures. 

One mistake I see is picking a pillow that is too small. Bigger pillows make a statement, and it’s better if they’re feather-filled or down-filled. You can give it that little chop and make it look just more comfortable.   

Any advice for adding plants?

You’ll want to know where you’ll put the plant to get one that will thrive. Don’t place it in a sunny window if it prefers non-direct light. Plants, especially large ones, aren’t cheap. You don’t want to spend money and then have it wither.   

How can I select the right sofa?

I would look for a sofa that is comfortable yet has a durable, stain-resistant fabric, especially if you have pets. 

Each family has different needs. My kids are mostly on their phones in their rooms, so it’s usually just my husband and I watching television together, and we stretch out. He’s a tall guy, so we needed a couch that was long enough to accommodate him.  

He also wanted a down-wrapped sofa. But some people don’t like the down wrap because it has comfort creases. So, it’s a personal choice. If you have an all-feather or an all-down sofa, it has a lot of wrinkles.  

Also, consider how much time you want to spend fluffing the cushions. With the down-filled, you should fluff it up almost every time you sit on it. But the advantage is they hold their shape better.   

What should I know when buying an area rug?

An area rug can unite a room, but you must get the right size. Many people get one that is too small and floats in the middle of the room, and that’s not good.   

The rug should be anchored by furniture, such as the sofa’s front legs. Also, the colours should represent something that you have in the room. Or I recommend getting a neutral rug. You can have something colourful in the rest of your room if it’s neutral.  

If I want to add colour to my home, which do you suggest?

Blue blends beautifully with warm colours. It works more like a neutral. Avoid red and yellow as they are harder to work in a colour scheme. If you want to use red, consider rust tones or burgundy, which is becoming popular again.  

If you want to add colour, you can start slowly. Change out one piece of furniture. Maybe you love your warm red armchair and work around that.  

Home decor trends come and go. If some of your decor or furniture isn’t in style right now, you don’t need to remove it. If it’s a piece you love, keep it. 

If you go: Showroom Lighting and Furniture is located at 1539 Stittsville Main Street, Unit 1, Stittsville ON, K2S 2Z9 

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